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Honoring Dad’s Impact on My Life

Honoring Dad’s Impact on My Life

In celebration of Father's Day, Jim Daly and John Fuller offer encouragement and affirmation to dads by presenting recordings of some popular Christian authors and speakers who recall the positive impact their father had on their lives.

Original Air Date: June 19, 2015

Opening:

Excerpt:

David Clarke: My dad, Bill Clarke, is really the godliest man I have ever known.

Dan Chun: When I think of my dad, I think of his character and integrity, that when no one’s looking, he was there trying to do the right thing.

Roland Warren: There’s an amazing opportunity that every father has to be a representation of our Heavenly Father in a human form and when you do that, not only will you be blessed, but your kids will be blessed.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: You know, every dad makes a lasting impression on his children, an incredible imprint that’s never forgotten. This is Focus on the Family, with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller, and today we’re gonna help you see that many dads are getting it “right” these days.

Jim Daly: They are, John, and since Father’s Day is this Sunday, we wanted to honor the contribution dads are making, by sharing some treasured memories from some of our past guests on the program. And many of you know I didn’t have a great dad in my life. Um, he was out of my life pretty early, but there are still good things that you can remember, even if you had that kind of tough experience. We asked a number of authors and speakers to answer a simple question: What impact did your dad have in your life? And their answers, I think, are reflective of that impact a dad can have, and we’ve got more than a dozen great stories for you today.

John: We’re gonna begin with Joni Eareckson Tada, as she reflects about her father relating to her diving accident and being in a wheelchair as she was a young adult.

Body:

Joni Eareckson Tada: Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with Joni and Friends. And not long ago, my husband, Ken, was cleaning out our garage, and he came to the kitchen door, holding up a pair of old Canadian crutches, and he said, “Joni, do you wanna dump these?” Well, I stared at those dusty crutches, and my throat tightened, and I said to my husband, “Those are Daddy’s!” The aluminum was scraped, the rubber tips were scuffed, but um, those crutches suddenly brought into focus a flood of memories.

All through my daddy’s 70s and 80s, he would hobble around on crutches, due to arthritis. He had to use ‘em to shove around chairs, boxes. He even used a crutch to ring a doorbell. And on a good day, he could hit a ball tossed to him by a grandkid. Around the farm, we could always tell when daddy was off on a horseback ride, because there his crutches would be, leaning against the hitching post.

Well, when I broke my neck, and when I was in the hospital, I could always tell when my father was coming for a visit, because I would hear, echoing on the hallway tile, click, click, click, click. “Oh boy,” I would think. “Daddy’s here!” I’d be so excited, ‘cause I felt that he, more than anyone else in the family, understood my situation. He understood limitations.

And this is why that clicking sound for me was so welcomed. The Bible talks about the beauty of feet that bring Good News. That even includes crutches. And I think it’s a good lesson for you listening today. Think about it. What – what do people think of you, when they hear the sound of your feet coming?

Well, my daddy taught me such an important lesson. May we always be heralds of God’s Good News, wherever we go. Oh, by the way, just last week, I gave my daddy’s crutches to Wheels for the World. That’s our outreach at Joni and Friends, where we take mobility equipment overseas to give to disabled people in developing nations. I finally had to let ‘em go. And I let ‘em go, because I know that God’s Good News must be released. So, with those crutches, they will be heralds of the Gospel of Jesus, no matter where they end up or whoever uses them. Thank you, daddy, for teaching me such a good lesson.

Kimberly Wagner: Four years ago today, I was spending my last hours with my father. And I am – I am so thankful for how, actually, he prepared me for that day. My dad was one of those men who, he was always there for me – and the difficult days and the days to celebrate – he was there for me. And in the middle of the night, when I was a scared little girl with nightmares, he would be the one that would sit there and talk me through that.

The last 10 years of my dad’s life, he struggled with lymphoma, which eventually went to his brain. So, in his final four years, he went from being a highly intelligent man, strong, almost invincible, to being very child-like, emotional, needy, fearful. So, I promised him all along the way, “Daddy, when it comes time for you to go, I will not leave your side. I will be here for you, just like you were here for me.” And so, in those final hours, God was gracious to give me many sweet days with my dad, as he transitioned from this life to the next. I am so thankful for a dad who was there for me and was an example to me of my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and love.

Lorie Newman: He always, when I was a little girl, made me feel as though every little thing that I did was important. One Christmas, I’ll never forget that we were headed to grandmother’s house, and it was the first time that we would be away for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and I was so afraid that Santa would not know that I wasn’t home, and he would leave the gifts at the wrong house. So, I wrote a note, and my dad literally got the ladder out of the garage, and I watched him climb up onto the roof, shimmy across and nail that letter to the chimney. My dad always wanted me to know that if it was important to me, it was important to him. And now that I am an adult and I know a few things about Santa Claus that I did not know then, it makes it all the more special what my daddy did for me when I was little.

Phil Vischer: I’m Phil Vischer, and my father had a huge impact on me. He was creative; he’s a storyteller, very funny, very, very creative and much of my creativity came from him, but when I was 9-year-old, my parents split up, and my dad came down the stairs with a suitcase and kissed me on the forehead and walked out the door. And my life was split in two, the half before my dad left and the half after my dad left. It was difficult for me to be close to people after that, because I was afraid anyone I was close to would leave. But God worked on that and healed that through my wife, who committed to stay with me forever, through friendships and ultimately through the love of God Himself. So that, when I had my own kids, I remember when my daughter turned 9, the age I was when I walked my – watched my dad walk out, and I was still there for her. And I remember thinking that I can heal this for my kids, so they will never experience what I experienced. And every year I’m with my kids, my wife and I have been married 25 years now, is a grace of God that I have been able to give my kids what I didn’t have. It’s a blessing to be a father.

Kathi Lipp: My name is Kathy Lipp, and I’ll be honest, it’s a little hard to talk about my dad right now. I lost him this year on September 5th. And of everybody to come to the Memorial service, my mom asked who wanted to speak. And I’ll be honest, nobody stepped forward, not because we didn’t love my dad, but it was hard to – it’s hard to get up and speak in such a tough situation and also with somebody that I’ve had a – a tough relationship with, but because I’m a professional speaker, I got picked, and I’m so grateful I did. Because in that time when it was hard to really know how to mourn my dad, I had to set out on a mission to, not just to find out the truth, but find out the good. And I was able to really point to a few things that made my dad so special.

He was a man of peace. I can’t ever remember my dad raising his voice to me in a way that was angry. He cared deeply about me. He was a broken man, but one of things I learned in the circumstance is that, you know, everybody in our lives has kind of a different toolbox, and they each get a little different set of tools. And one of my tools from my dad were missing or broken, but he did the best he could to build the life that he wanted for me with the broken tools he had.

So, I really saw that, you know, he was also a man who was passionate about many things and he was an actor and he was a radio guy. And as I started to go down the list of everything that he was passionate about, I saw that, that entire list, with the exception of rock collecting, were all things that my brother and I were passionate about. And so, while it was messy, the big lesson from all of that for me was just to see that God has put something unique and really special in each person that I can learn from, whether it’s intended by them or not. And I got to learn a lot from my dad, a lot of it accidentally and a lot because I sought it out and it’s caused me to want to seek out the good in the other people in my life and call it out in them, because I would say, my – my one big regret is that I didn’t tell my dad enough the things I cared about him and the things that he taught me. And so, I don’t plan on making that mistake with anybody else in my life.

Vicky Courtney: My dad is incredibly patient. I remember when I was in college and he came in from out of town and his own father was passing away – my grandfather – and didn’t have much longer to live and we were driving to go see him. And halfway there, we stopped at a restaurant, and in haste, when we left, I left my purse at the restaurant, but I did not discover it until about an hour on down the road and mentioned it to my dad and he said, “You know, that’s no problem honey; we’ll just turn around and go back and get it.” And I’m sitting there, you know, thinking at that point, I was a new mother. My oldest son was about maybe 9-months-old. And I’ll never forget that, because I remember thinking, you know, that at times I could be impatient with, of course, having a new baby, and you know, but that example that my father set there with patience. 

John: Vicky Courtney, sharing a fond memory of her father on today’s episode of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller, and Father’s Day is coming up. Jim, we have six children, as you know, um, and a daughter-in-law now, and each of these kids is unique. They’ve all – I don’t know how – they’re all very different from each other. But it’s such a great privilege to be their dad and to be able to look back on the times when I’ve been able to pour into their lives, and God’s been able to mold and shape them through me. It’s been a – a wonderful journey so far.

Jim: And John, so often as dads, we can feel like we’re failing, like we’re not doing enough or we’re inadequate. Being a dad is challenging, there’s no doubt, but God’s grace is sufficient for all of us, right?

John: Yeah.

Jim: Um, we want to provide a little encouragement for you today, as a dad. Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, and he’s written a great book called, Championship Fathering. And it will lift you up in your role as a dad and give you that reassurance that you can do the job and do it well. And with a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family, it’ll be our pleasure to send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you.

John: Donate and get the inspirational book, Championship Fathering, when you call 800-A-FAMILY, or go online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Well, we’re hearing about how dads have impacted their children’s lives. These are various comments that we’ve recorded from broadcast guests. And now we’re gonna hear from Cynthia Tobias. Her dad was a pastor, and being a preacher’s kid can be a challenge. In this story, Cynthia reflects on her father’s investment in her life and she gives him credit for the woman she’s become. 

Cynthia Tobias: I’m Cynthia Tobias, author and speaker and Nazarene preacher’s kid. My dad, what an impact he’s had on my life, an immeasurable impact. From my earliest times of remembering, he was always very authentic. He was the same person in the pulpit as he was at home. And he reached so many as a pastor and built in me the desire to reach others, the desire to teach, the desire to share. I wanted to be a writer from an early age. And I look at him even now and I realize, you know, I’ve written 12 books. I get to speak to a lot of audiences all over the place. It’s all because of my dad, really, and what he put in my heart from the very beginning and the encouragement he gave me, and the example he set for me my whole life.

And I know a lot of preacher’s kids that we can kinda go either way, but I had so much respect for my dad and loved him so much, ‘cause he was so consistent. And you know, he’s 89-years-old now and I just asked him about three weeks ago, “Hey, dad,” he’s still in pretty good health. I said, “Hey, dad, is there anything else you really want to do before you get any older?” And he looked right at me and he said, “You know what I want? I want to win one more soul.” Wow, that’s my dad.

Paul Coughlin: I’m Paul Coughlin, founder and president of The Protectors, an anti-bullying organization. And I have so many great memories of my father and I really adored him in so many ways. He was – he was an Irish immigrant and very quiet. He treated words as if he would be taxed on them, so I think he said like 12 a day sometimes.

Well, I remember once I was a paperboy in Southern California and this one elderly couple said that I broke their window when delivering newspapers, and there’s just no way that’s gonna be the case, and I was just heartbroken and scared to death and thought I was gonna lose my route and all – that I’d have to pay for the window. My father, who was a painter, a house painter, worked very hard, brought me to this elderly couple’s house, apartment. And we looked at the window and went inside and I just remember it being really a kind of very scary affair for me. And my dad, he did this – we were leaving, and he does this kind of Columbo second take and he looks back and he looked at the window and he said in his Irish brogue, “It’s broken from the inside.” And I remember – I remember him defending me in this really, with this quiet strength. He was – he never felt like he had to yell to get his point across, but he was my defender that day and he, in my mind, he grew to be 8 foot-tall and I just really appreciated it.

Carolyn McKinstry: I have four brothers, and the notion of trying to raise four young men and two daughters, but to raise those four young men in a way that they don’t get in trouble with the law, or that they’re not locked up, to inspire them and encourage them in such a way, that they want to grow up and do some meaningful things in this life, you know, to make a contribution was a tremendous job. And all of my brothers are very gracious men today. They all cook, they all clean house, and they are – they grew up to be like my dad.

Dan Chun: I remember for the longest time, I would ask my dad if he could play football with me in the backyard. I wanted him to punt the football to me, and then I would catch it and we would throw the football at times. And so, he did come out, and he punted the ball and threw it in the hot sun in Hawaii. And later, my mother said, “You know, you shouldn’t ask your dad to do that. You know he’s asthmatic. You know he’s much older, ‘cause he’s 40 years older than you. And I was touched by, that my dad would do anything it would take to spend time with me, to play with me, even though his health wasn’t the best, and he would go out there and do something that was strenuous for him at that time, due to his health. And so, I was always impressed with dad’s love for me to do that.

Lysa TerKeurst: I’m Lysa TerKeurst with Proverbs 31 Ministries and I had a very difficult relationship with my dad and honestly, it wound up being that my dad and I just – our relationship fell apart and he decided that he didn’t really want to have any kind of relationship with me. This was so hard because heart of a little girl longs to have a connection with her daddy, but that was just not gonna be possible for me with my dad.

And so, for years I really grieved that and so, it just deepened my sense of rejection and it was so difficult. So, one day, I was praying to the Lord, and I just said, “God I have to have some kind of healthy perspective, because this is hurting my heart over and over and over again and every time someone mentions something with their dad, it’s a hurtful reminder of what I don’t have with my dad. And Lord, if You could just give me one good memory, so that every time the topic of dads came up, that I could intentionally make my brain focus on that one good memory with my dad. That would be such a gift.”

And then one winter morning I woke up, and I was looking outside and there were some icicles that formed outside my kitchen window and suddenly, God gave me the gift of remembering a very sweet memory with my dad and it’s one now that I treasure so much and it was the memory that I grew up in Florida. And I – every winter I would beg God for snow, but we lived in Florida, so it really wasn’t realistic. And then one night it was gonna get cold enough that if there was the right amount of precipitation that it would snow, but of course, there was no moisture in the air, so even though it got cold enough for there to be snow, there was no snow in the forecast. And my dad that night after I went to bed, he went out into the garage and he got our old rusty sprinkler, the kind that you would hook up to your hose and that would go back and forth and back and forth. And he set it up in backyard. It formed this beautiful icicle winter wonderland and so, that next morning, I remember he walked in my room. He said, “You know how you prayed for it to snow. You might want to go check out the backyard.

And I remember I got up and ran out into the backyard and I stood there and I looked up into the trees and there was this beautiful winter wonderland. And I just remember thinking, you know what? I know my dad. He doesn’t have the capacity to say that he loves me and oftentimes he says words that are hurtful to me, but that day, standing in my backyard full of icicles, I knew deep down in my heart that, that was such an act of love. My dad did love me. My dad had broken places in his heart that didn’t allow him to be the kind of father I wished he would be, but that was a sweet memory.

And so now, when I look back on my childhood, I make myself remember that special night with the old rusty sprinkler and a dad who thought enough of his little girl to go and set the sprinkler up and create an icicle wonderland for me. And so, I can think back on my dad, and I see, it’s a small legacy, but it is a beautiful one, even if it was just one night, I know that somewhere in my dad’s heart, he loved me.

John: Some tender recollections from Lysa TerKeurst, as we wrap up a series of Father’s Day comments from some Focus on the Family radio guests that we’ve had on in these past months and years, and we have one more story to share in just a moment.

Jim: John, with Lysa’s story, my heart breaks for her that this is one of the few, as she said, maybe the only positive memories that she has of her dad. That’s such a thin basket to lean into and that breaks my heart. When I was young, my dad broke many promises and I don’t have many stories either. But this one particular time, I remember I was turning 7 years old, and he was gonna bring me a baseball mitt, but he never showed up – equal to feeling that disappointment that I didn’t matter enough to him that he would keep that promise, was my friend, Ricky, who was at my little birthday party. There were only two or three boys there, and he and I ran to the curb every 15, 20 minutes to look for my dad together. And I think the wound, it’s like the dagger was in, because he didn’t show, and then the twisting of the dagger was the embarrassment that Ricky, my friend, was there to see my grief every time I went to the curb and there was no dad.

And – but to this day, with that sad memory, I also have, like Lysa, a good memory and it also related to baseball. I can remember years later, after my mom and dad divorced, I went through foster care. I lived with my father again for one year. I was 11 at the time, and he promised to take me to a Dodger-Reds game and I was so excited. I loved baseball. I was so into it. And I was in sixth grade, and I remember we ran to catch the bus with my sister, and somebody made us late, I can’t remember who. It wasn’t me, and as we got to the bus stop, the bus was pulling away already and my dad probably just looked at my face and thought the disappointment was just overwhelming. And he hailed a cab, and we lived in San Gabriel and Dodger Stadium was probably 20 miles away, so it was a long cab drive in that day and he didn’t make that much money. I think he spent probably about a third of his salary getting us to Dodger Stadium. And that meant the world to me, because he did, like Lysa’s father, he went out of his way at that moment, when he felt my pain to say, “Okay, I get it. Let’s get this thing done. And we had a great night and that’s probably one of the best memories I have of him that night – Dodgers versus Reds – and – and my dad.

John: Well, if like Jim and Lysa TerKeurst, just a few moments ago, you had a really challenging life growing up and didn’t have that connection with your dad, please know that here at Focus on the Family, we want to help you. We want to offer some encouragement and we have caring, Christian counselors here to do that. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And John, I’m sure some are wondering, “You don’t know my dad.” Let me encourage you to reach out to your father, even if it’s always been negative and even if perhaps it’s gonna be negative again. You never know how God will use that. And I want you to hear why this weekend, Father’s Day, may be the best time to make things right and to illustrate it, I want to go to a story of Dennis Mansfield. This is 20 years ago, when his father came to visit him on Father’s Day weekend, and it ended up being the turning point in their relationship.

Dennis Mansfield: For the first 39 years of my life, my relationship with my father was terrible. I hated this man. He gave me no reason to love him. And then as I grew in to my adulthood, I lost hope in ever having it, never having a relationship. But then I made a decision when I was 39 to honor my father. I wrote a tribute to him, and when I read it to him, it was as if it absolutely broke something in the heavenlies, and when that happened, the practical reality of it was that my dad embraced me, he hugged me and said he was sorry; could we start again?

What hope that gave me! To have the reality, the understanding that there was still time to have a relationship. And from that point on, for 18 years, he and I sought each other out. We would call each other; we would visit one another. I remember coming to where he lived in Florida and sitting on the beach with him and just asking him, “Tell me what life was like before you met my mom. Tell me about life.” And it was fantastic. We laughed; we – we held each other; we joked; we went to the movies. It was the best of the best, coming from the worst of the worst. Yep, that was my reality with my dad, based on establishing hope in my life, and I would say to you, it’s never too late. Reach out; reach out to your father.

Closing:

Jim: As you heard Dennis say, don’t wait to make things right with your father. Perhaps both of your hearts have hardened over the years and the embarrassments, like what I felt, and all the others that you’ve heard, that rejection, that lack of love. Let me just say it again, don’t wait. Let the Lord use this opportunity, hopefully, to break that crust on your heart and your dad’s heart. 

John: And again, we’d be happy to pray with you. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller, thanking you for joining us and hoping you have a great weekend. Please plan to be with us on Monday. We’ll be helping you train your son to be a confident young man, as we provide more trusted advice to help your family thrive.

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Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.